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Modern Italy
Journal of Modern Italian Studies
RIVISTA DI STUDI ITALIANI
Anno XXI , n° 1, Giugno 2003 ( Contributi ) pag. 15-37

TRADITIONAL, COMIC SONNETS
IN THE MAGLIABECHIANO VII 1034 MANUSCRIPT1
FABIAN ALFIE
The University of Arizona,
Tucson, Arizona

The Magliabechiano VII 1034 manuscript in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence, Italy, represents a fascinating compendium of late medieval and early Renaissance literature. Composed of sixty-four paper folios measuring approximately 300mm x 115mm, this fifteenth-century codex bears the title Poesie toscane di diversi autori antichi. It contains works by Luigi Alamanni (ff. 1r-v), Girolamo Amelonghi (f. 2r),
Angelo Poliziano (ff. 37r-46v), Antonio da Ferrara (ff. 63r-v) and Petrarch (f. 64v), among many others. Folios 48v-54v seem to form a subsection within the codex, for on these pages there appears a series of thirty-seven sonnets numbered by the scribe; this numbering stops on f. 55r. Transcribed in an unsteady hand, probably by a non-professional, these lyrics bear no attributions nor rubrics of any kind. The authors of some of the sonnets therein can be determined, and they include Bindo Bonichi2, Cino da Pistoia3, Pietro dei Faitinelli4, Guido Cavalcanti5, and Cecco Angiolieri6. Still, by my count, twenty-one of the sonnets are not listed in Marco Santagata's Incipitario Unificato della Poesia Italiana (IUPI)7. The absence of the sonnets from IUPI suggests several preliminary conclusions: 1) that no published description of Magliabechiano VII 1034 exists; 2) that these sonnets have not been edited; and 3) that they do not appear in any other manuscript which has been studied by philologists. Although the poetry lacks attributions, there is no reason to believe that it all derives from one single author, nor that it all belongs to the same period. Some sonnets may have been composed in the Trecento while others were probably written in the Quattrocento. Thus, Magliabechiano VII 1034 represents a virtually untapped source for scholars interested in the minor poetic traditions of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
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